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Gaming Math Classes

DimenxianIn an interesting article on The Journal site, Linda L. Briggs writes about the use of game software in math classes in Georgia. It seems that they are using a game called Dimenxian from Tabula Digita. The game itself seems to have received some good reviews, and the image at the right is from (and links to) a brief review of the product.

Personally, I really like the idea of such products, as they allow students the pleasure of learning from self-discovery. The students in this program seemed to be highly focused on the task, and the teacher even went as far as to refer to the classroom as “the most manageable class ever.” She also noticed a greater amount of cooperation in the classroom:

“Another way the software has surprised Hall: the amount of teamwork it inspires… ‘The teamwork seems to evolve by itself’, Hall said. ‘It might be students that you’ve never think of working together.’ Other skills the software teaches, she said, include thinking quickly, working together, and making decisions with consequences.” Source: Serious Gaming: ‘Learn Math or Die Trying’ : September 2007 : THE Journal

This reminds me of the balance of knowledge/power in the classroom, and how it can effect social dynamics. I wrote about this a bit in a paper for my MA course, and I find the topic very interesting. The teamwork in these situations can occur as “student experts” emerge in the group and start sharing information. This can lead to higher self confidence and mutual respect in the classroom, which may be why Hall noticed odd pairings in her classroom. Suddenly students who existed on the fringe of the social classroom gain attention and respect as their peers see them in a new light. Educational gaming at the great equalizer?

I wish that my kids were a bit older so I could put this program in front of them. Somehow, I think that pre-algebra is a bit too much for six and four year olds…

Are there any similar games for language learning?

Via: Educational Technology